Obtaining Desks

Getting desks and chairs to the school wasn't an easy task. We had already visited all of Agra's furniture stores. The shopkeepers had asked us all the way to the back of the stores to see what they have to offer for our needs.


We were amazed, when we told we wanted stackable plastic chairs, and the shopkeeper starts to present us with plush armchairs. In India people are so friendly and want to serve, that's the reason. It was already summer when our Indian associate found suitable stackable plastic chairs, and those were bought.


In September 2011 we finally obtained desks for school. But they were not found in a store, they had to be first designed and then custom made. There was lot of difficulties. The plastic chairs we already had had to fit under the desks, and because there isn't much room, the desks also had to be stackable.


The first design was that every girl gets their own desk. Then we visited the workshop, where the desks were made. After a few days we went to see the prototype, and oh no! The desk had crossed legs. So there is no possibility to put the chair under the desk, and not even space for the kid's feet.




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New instructions were made, and the desk turned into a desk for two. Again, few days later, we went to see what it looked like this time. Now it looked pretty much right. Only this time the legs weren't at the corners, and didn't fold. So the workers had to start welding and make changes. Soon there was a new version at display, but this time the corners had sharp irons. New instructions again, and waiting for new results.


Next time we visited the workshop, the desk was ready as a right kind of Indian desk. Now we needed to go to the classroom to test if two chairs could fit underneath. Two workers from the workshop carried the desk to our car: there was no possible way to get the car to the workshop because of all the narrow streets and stalls in there. At school, we got so happy when the desk fit well. We made an order, and now the desks are at the school.


Kids' handwriting improves and makes working easier when the they don't have to be in back-aching positions when they write and draw. Kids also eat their food at their desks. There are pictures of the making of the desks on the side.


Pirkko Hellstén